Skip to main content
Select Source:

Supremacy, Act of

Supremacy, Act of, 1534 (26 Hen. VIII c. 1). This Act, passed in the sixth session of the Reformation Parliament in November–December 1534, defined the headship of the English church, which Henry VIII had progressively asserted over the previous two to three years. The Act claimed merely to ‘confirm and corroborate’ the pre-existing right of the king and his successors to be supreme head on earth of the Church of England. Already in the preamble to the Act in Restraint of Appeals of 1533, the ‘Supreme Head and King’ had been defined as having ‘whole and entire power’ over clergy and laity alike. However, whereas earlier legislation had limited itself to specific fiscal and legal aspects of church authority, the Act of Supremacy conferred personally on the king all spiritual authority to reform abuses and correct doctrine. On 15 January 1535 Henry included the supreme headship in the royal style, and around then transferred its authority to a spiritual ‘vicegerent’, the layman Thomas Cromwell. Such personal control over spiritual issues, as well as spiritual people, was unique to the Henrician supremacy; the title of supreme head was abolished by Mary I in 1554–5 (1 & 2 P. and M. c. 8), to be replaced by the more muted title of ‘Supreme Governor’ under Elizabeth I.

Euan Cameron

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Supremacy, Act of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 May. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Supremacy, Act of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/supremacy-act

"Supremacy, Act of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved May 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/supremacy-act

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Supremacy, Act of

Supremacy, Act of. An Act of 1559 declaring the Queen of England ( Elizabeth I) to be ‘the only supreme governor of this realm … as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal’. The act was a revised form of Henry VIII's Act of 1534 repealed by Mary. It is intrinsic to the ‘establishment’ of the Church of England.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Supremacy, Act of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 May. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Supremacy, Act of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/supremacy-act

"Supremacy, Act of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved May 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/supremacy-act

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Supremacy, Act of

Supremacy, Act of (in English history) either of two Acts of Parliament of 1534 and 1559 (particularly the former), which established Henry VIII and Elizabeth I as supreme heads of the Church of England and excluded the authority of the Pope. The term is used particularly with reference to the Act of 1534.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Supremacy, Act of." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 May. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Supremacy, Act of." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/supremacy-act

"Supremacy, Act of." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved May 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/supremacy-act

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.